Here at the Temple are a few words that are heard often. Wisdom. Awareness. Insight. I know that in my own path here at the Temple these words have been of great importance. Wisdom has a magical concept tied with it. I see an old sage, meditating on a rock above crashing waves. I see ancient knowledge. I see lost ways. These of course were symbols I had gained, a representation of knowledge that I had accrued. These symbols themselves are silly and hyperbolic. The truth of the word came at a steeper price and a rockier path.
The birth of Wisdom came with awareness. Awareness of myself. My thoughts, my capabilities and limitations. Awareness of the world around me. The experiences that I was a part of. Learning to open your eyes and your mind is difficult to say the least. However even more difficult is what I want to share with you today. For me the toughest part on my path to wisdom was learning the difference between inference and assumption.
We find insights into ourselves and the world based on our past experiences and what we observe. However sometimes we don’t verify. We don’t examine the evidence. We assume patterns instead of testing. We jump to conclusions instead of seeking truth. I have been guilty of this more times than I care to share but it is part of growing and learning. It is part of being human. Every story has three sides, is what my teaching master used to tell me. This side, that side, and what actually happened. It is easy for our skewed observations to become personal truth. It is much harder to break that truth down into fable once it is cemented into our comfort. It is hard to challenge what we know as truth.
As painful as it is we must remember that truth is not our enemy. Never will truth be our enemy. Truth simply is how it is. Fantasy and fear aside, the truth is real. Yet we fight against it, we fight against the unknown for preference of what is comfortable. We struggle to challenge our beliefs and shun foreign concepts. We are slow to adapt to facts opting instead for what we already “know”. It all stems from fear of change and bias at the root. Bias as seen from our tinted glasses.
So I asked myself “why do I prefer to live with comfortable lies rather than embrace the truth? What will it cost me to question things? What will I lose besides something found less or irrelevant?” These questions are ones that I am constantly asking myself as I struggle to maintain criticism for my beliefs. If I find that I can no longer hold to something it hurts. However life goes on and I adapt to what I know is actually real. I see myself as a clay sculpture constantly being formed into who I am. Sometimes things need to be revisited or adjusted to complete what I hope to be a beautiful work of art. I’m not there yet but I look forward to seeing how I turn out and I look forward to finding out with my family here at the Temple